The newsletter breaking you out of your algorithm bubble
“We're gonna be a big document of this era and I think that's really powerful.”
*Stefon voice* New York’s hottest newsletter is… —Kate
It all started, as most great ideas do, in a group chat. Tyler Bainbridge, Alex Cushing, and Serey Morm—all friends from college—frequently shared everyday recommendations with one another, to the point that they began sending them out to friends every Friday.
“I've been pretty obsessive about finding new things since I was a kid,” Bainbridge tells me over the phone. “I love a good rabbit hole. What can I say? Maybe even to an unhealthy extent, I spend hours and hours digging through forums, nerding out on different websites, reading blogs. And I think the advice ‘write something that you'd want to read’ is so true. I guess that's where Perfectly Imperfect comes in. It's kind of a great way to break out of your algorithm bubble and find something new.”
Perfectly Imperfect, now a year and a half old, is a twice-weekly newsletter featuring hip people and the things they’re into, with recommendations ranging from Sarah Squirm’s “Hanes 10-pack classic cotton briefs granny undies” to Alison Roman’s Unicorn peppermill to Caroline Calloway’s “no jeans, no heels lifestyle.” With a particular focus on the people and personalities that make up the downtown set of New York City, the newsletter has featured hundreds of writers, creators, actors, and icons who any 20 or 30-something Extremely Online New Yorker has probably seen in the star-spangled graphics splashed across Instagram.
Perfectly Imperfect is all about keeping things thoughtful and genuine, which is why their mounting success has presented somewhat of a challenge. How do you grow while staying true to your niche roots? Bainbridge is behind much of the booking at the newsletter, and in this interview for paid subscribers, we chat about his favorite recs, getting mainstream media to take the newsletter seriously, and Perfectly Imperfect’s unique approach to growth.